Goalsetting And Why You Should Set Goals.

A great life doesn't just happen. A great life isn't something that will just happen to you out of the blues, by default, one day, whilst living a mundane, mediocre life, you, suddenly, stumble into purpose, stumble into excellence, stumble into meaning. Life doesn't work like that. A great life doesn't happen by default but by Design. A great life happens by DESIGN.

You have to DESIGN the life you want to have, to make a plan about what you want to have in your life. I remember hearing Brian Tracy say once that people make a plan for every other thing they need to get done- we make a detailed plan and design when we want to build a house, with the help of an architect, and then we build according to the laid out design, even when we want to cook, we make a plan, a list of the ingredients we need- and if you are not a list person, at least you make a mental plan, we have a mental picture of what the outcome of putting all of these ingredients together would be- we even have a mental picture of how it will taste BEFORE we cook. But when it comes to our lives, we just "go with the flow, and just wait to see how life goes". That's setting oneself up for a life of mediocrity, mundanity and meaninglessness. A set up for a life of dissatisfaction, full of the pain of confusion and lack of clarity. 

I was recently in a Goal setting workshop conducted by Pastor Dotun Arifalo and she brought a lot of light to the concept of Goal Setting that is a bit beyond what I have read in Goal Setting books. She drew her insight from both the Word of God, experience and life's tried and tested principles and she made some really sobering statements that should wake the sleeping giant in any of us up. 

Here's a summary of why you should set goals and I have made this summary from listening to Pastor Dotun Arifalo's session and reading a few books- by Myles Munroe and Brian Tracy- and also seeing how Goal setting- and a lack thereof- has indeed impacted my life so that I know for a fact that these statements are true.

  1.  Success is Goal Setting and Goal Achievement
  2. If you are down and depressed, get on Goal Setting- start setting little goals and smashing them and you will start to feel a lot better about yourself (I can attest to this from experience)
  3. Only 90% of Adults set goals (explains why there are many average people and fewer people who go on to attain significance in life).
  4. Goal setting opens you up to opportunities you would ordinarily not have been able to see- when you set goals and have a plan, when you've clarified what you really want and actually taken the time to write it down and draw up some steps on how to achieve it, this then starts to work on a side of your mind, your brain and, suddenly, your eyes become open to opportunities about that thing which you would never have noticed if you never took the time to clarify your thoughts, your goals and to actually think about ways to achieve them. It's like writing a full business plan even if you don't have any money- just write it anyway and make it clear. It's easier to see opportunities concerning that business plan (to fund it or any other type of support) than if you don't have any clear plan at all and you won a lottery. In the latter (winning a lottery with no plan at all) you may squander the entire money BEFORE you realize or think about ways to invest that money but if you had a ready plan somewhere, that would be the first thing you would channel the fund to if such funds came into your life.
  5. As a mum/parent, if your kids do not see you set goals and achieve them, you are setting them up for failure- they need to see you do these things because, a lot of times, the reason adults don't set goals is because they don't have people and positive role models in their lives who model these things to them. Raise the bar for your kids.
  6. If you are not Goal oriented, you cannot be successful. All successful people are goal oriented.
  7. Goal setting eliminates the fear of the future. It helps to clarify and remove any confusion from your life and you are able to focus on where you are and not be distracted by other people's progress, opportunities and trajectories because you have a plan, a goal you are working towards.
  8. If you do not set goals, you are automatically failing. This is because the failure mechanism in life happens automatically- without any effort from you. If you do not read, your mental acuity starts to be lax; if you eat and sleep and never exercise, you get out of shape and have health issues; if you leave a plate of food open, over a couple of days, it automatically starts to mold and goes bad; if you drive your car without servicing it, it will go bad; if you plant a lovely garden and then leave it alone, it will be overgrown with weeds- failure is on the automatic but the reverse side of this is setting and achieving goals that move you against the natural, automatic path of indiscipline that leads to failure- success takes effort. (See number 1 and 6)
  9. Living without having clear articulated goals is like a man driving through a thick fog. No matter how powerful his engine is (gifts, skills, potentials), because of the fog and the thickness of it, he has to drive ever so slowly, with trepidation and care, so he doesn't land in a ditch. That is how we live our lives when we just carry on without ever stopping to take stock of our lives and determine, clarify and agree what we want out of our lives and to set goals to help us achieve what we have identified.
  10. All true leaders possess a goal-driven attitude. Leaders distinguish themselves from followers by their passion for preestablished goals.
  11. Goals protect us from undue influence from other people. True leaders are always zealous for and jealous of their goals because these goals represent their lives. Our lives change when our goals change, so we must carefully guard our goals. Please see number 7 to support this.
  12. If you don’t have any goals, other people will run your life. You suddenly have too much time on your hands to do nothing and so people can always find you available to carry out their own agendas and to help move their own goals forward. When you have a clear goal that translates into daily actions you have to take, suddenly, you don't really have a block of time to chat away on the phone with friends or to feel depressed and go and drink/use drugs, suddenly you are living for something and you want to achieve something with your life.*
  13. Goals create targets for our energy. They protect us from procrastination. The saying that procrastination steals your destiny is still true, don't leave until tomorrow, what you can do today. 

I should probably get on with the sweet stuff which is on How-to-set-goals, but I just want to really write what I hope is a compelling enough post as well as one that really packs a punch so that if a person who doesn't set goals at all chances on this, they will begin, from the point of reading this, to understand why they need to set goals and the things they need to figure out in order to actually help them have enough clarity to know what goals to set for themselves. 

Before we get on to the How-To of Goal setting, I want you to take an assessment of where you currently are in your life- especially if you are in a place of lack of clarity and confusion:

  1.  Who are the people around you? You are a summary of: 

  • The 5 closest people in your life or that you interact with on a daily, including your spouse- and if you don't have helpful people around you, don't sweat it, just ensure that you actually go out of your way to "surround" yourself with the right kind of people- get into spaces where there are people of like minds virtually, where you can have growth accountability. Don't worry if you are in a toxic environment, create a mental and virtual safe space for yourself- there are a ton of virtual growth spaces you can plug yourself into- you can join Immerse Inner circle run by DDK, you can join Pastor Dotun's spaces- she's got several spaces that you can plug yourself into- there is her "Starting Strong" conference coming up, I've linked up the form for anyone who wants to discover purpose and wants to attend. She is a real Catalyst, a Firelighter, she will catalyze you in a way that you will not go back to the way it used to be. I've linked up her Instagram page too, please go on it and keep checking her taplink to see when she has something that is relevant to you ongoing and plug yourself in there- I believe she has an Inner circle.
  • The resources you expose yourself to- books, courses, Instablog, Gossip blogs - Garbage in, Garbage Out. I remember a season in my life when, for my pastime, I lived on blogs, watched all seasons- and replays- of all the ratchet Tv shows- Real Housewife (All of them), Empire, Little women, KUWTK- So much trash tv, so much trash tv. I had been on maternity leave, bored silly and depressed, I filled my mind with trash. I wish I had stumbled on a blog like what I am now writing to gently re-position my paradigm. I was trying to walk with God at the time, but if I knew what I knew NOW, I would have understood that that don't work for me- passive seeking and active filling up with junk- the junk will drown out the voice of the Spirit no doubt. That would have been the season to study voraciously, seek God, read books by Fathers of Faith, build up my faith, my knowledge, press in and desire spiritual gifts, learn goal setting. Well, I'm here now and I can write this for someone who is now where I used to be and to help them eliminate that mind-numbing time of meaninglessness that can happen- especially to women as we face that fuzzy childbearing period where you don't really know yourself anymore...
  • The people you meet. 

2. What are your VALUES? What TRULY matters to you? Think about this and come up with at least 10 values, then, whittle it down to 5 values. These are your true values- the things that are really important to you. Whatever goals you set for yourself shouldn't go against your personal values as that introduces a lot of pain into your life. Some of my core values are - a Deep connection with God, Peace (encapsulates Solitude, quietude, lots of alone time, tranquility, serenity, meditation, minimalism, nature), Growth (Spiritual, Personal development, Career), Family, Fitness. I have realized that almost all the times I've experienced some kind of pain, it's been because I was out of alignment with one of these. People go on to make permanent decisions that are not aligned to their values- simply because they didn't even realize it was necessary to clarify their personal values.

3. What do you REALLY want? Now you know what you value, what do you want for your life? Steve Chandler says, "Get on your deathbed". It is said that thinking about your life in the context of your mortality helps to put things in perspective- What would you like for others to say about you on your death bed? "She was a devoted wife"? "She was the best mom ever"? "She made such an impact in her own way, poured out herself into others"? "He walked with God"? Visualize what you really want for your life and do this without thinking about your current shortcomings or whatever limitations you have about yourself, What do you really want for; 

  •  Your career /Business
  •  Family Life
  •  Your Spirituality
  •  Your Finances
  •  Your Health and Fitness
  • Your Relationships
  • Your Community

Then, in Setting your Goals for these areas,

1. Write Down your Goals for every area of your life you want to set goals for - a goal that is not written down is like vapour- it's meaningless.

2. Your Goals must be SMART

  • Specific- it cannot be general. You don't simply say "I have a goal to be happy"- HOW do you want to be happy? WHAT will make you happy? Say, writing a book. Great. What type of book do you want to write? Make it Specific
  • Measureable- How do you want to measure your progress? What metric do you want to use to measure your progress? Say you want to write a book, your metric maybe that you must write at LEAST 500 words everyday and must do some research everyday for 1 hour on the topic you are writing about- that's measureable.
  • Achieveable- here, you identify how you want to achieve this goal and take into account any extra bits you need to do like gain more knowledge and polishing up your skills. You must also feed this time into the timeline you create for the achievement of this goal to allow for it to really be doable.
  • Relevant- A goal has to be relevant to where you are going and headed in life. Ensure it aligns to your long-term ambitions, your values and the season of life you are in.
  • Time Bound- A goal must have an end date, a time frame within which you set out to achieve it. This should put some healthy pressure on you to achieve the goal within that season of your life and if you find you cannot achieve a goal within the time you've set, simply re-evaluate that goal and set an extended time for it.

3. For every Goal you've set, break down the steps you identify you need to take to achieve the goal

4. Prioritize your list of Goals. Ask yourself "Which goal will I achieve, out of all of these, that would be the most impactful on my life?"- Start off with that.

5. Why do you want to achieve this goal? The more reasons you truly identify to be the reason you want to achieve this goal, the more motivation you will have to achieve it and vice versa.

6. Identify the issues and obstacles that are in the way of you achieving any goal you've set- why aren't you already at that goal? Then apply the 80/20 rule- it's the rule that says that 80% of the reason we don't attain our goals is internal and 20% external so, ask yourself, what is it in me that is stopping me from achieving this goal? Fear? Doubt? Question your self limiting beliefs and use the word of God to replace the self limiting beliefs you find. E.g of a self limiting belief to u may discover is;

  • I want to really do well in my industry but I’ve been fired over and over again since I came into this industry- I’m beginning to think that maybe it is not for me-  scriptural declaration: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have the breath of the Almighty in me, the Lord has inspired me and given me the ability to understand and be excellent in the workplace. I am anointed to be excellent in my work. (Job 32:8 ; Philippians 4:13)

For every self limiting belief you uncover, go on Google and search what the bible says about that, look through the scriptures and find the one that best addresses your situation, then, craft your declaration/confession in line with the Word of God. This is SO POWERFUL!  Then say it as often as you can, daily, several times a day, as often as you need to until those beliefs are uprooted because they become mental strongholds that do not allow us become who God has called us to be and we don’t coddle strongholds, we cast them down with the mighty weapons of our warfare- Faith, the Word of God, Salvation, Truth (of God’s Word), Prayers, Righteousness, Peace. 

7. Identify the knowledge and skills you need to acquire to help you achieve the goals you've set. To achieve something you have never achieved before, you will have to do something you have never done before, you will have to become someone you have never been before, to acquire more knowledge and skill in the area of your set goals. The same is true about Spiritual goals, to achieve breakthroughs in the spirit, if you are a person who doesn't fast and who prays 5 mins everyday, you would need to do something you've never done- go 3 days with water and pray long hours. Live a fasted life. You must be willing to do that which you haven't done before.

8.  Identify the resources you need to help you achieve the set goals- both human and informational resources- pray to see your teachers, your destiny helpers, connect with them, get into their courses and learn, learn, learn. Find a mentor.

9. Believe you will achieve your goals. Have faith and keep working on it. 

As you set goals and smash them, you'll find that you've done more in less time than most- and that's how you keep moving ahead.

It’s also important to be careful who you share your goals with. It’s important to share them with people who get you, who encourage you, who motivate you to do more, to be more. Not people who ask you “are you sure you can do it? With your children, your hands are full.”. Whilst it maybe true that your hands are full, if you set a goal to achieve something worthwhile because you know it is what you really want, I can assure you that you will be able to move things around in your calendar to accommodate that and people who question your capacity to achieve big dreams and goals are really speaking from their own limitations or they are trying to keep you safe. 

I do want to say, there have been times I have asked people to actually look at their priorities and this has been when a person is struggling through substance abuse issues and is not yet grounded in God, where they are still making foolish decisions and where their decisions are still impaired from use. My advice often is, this is not the time to try to make money or try to do a business etc etc simply because the main priority is getting better (and getting better is not really by focusing on the substance use issue as such but focusing on God, on His Word, on His power to deliver, on His direction, protection and leading), getting rooted in God, having a sound mind and having the solid foundation that God is your source. From this, when you are out making your plans and all, you are doing it from a surrendered point to God, inviting Him into your decisions every step of the way and when and if things don’t go right, you don’t get to that beat down, low place where you start craving a way to make yourself feel happy, you know you involved God in all of the processes and you realise that if it has gone awry, God is in control and it is all working together for your good. You can then just spend time worshiping, thanking God, asking for direction and wisdom, asking to know His ways, that He teach you His ways. 

Hope you find this helpful and that you set some goals for 2022.

Just a few days now to 2022, how are you spending these last few days? I'm taking the time to review my year, I'm so thankful for this year in so very many ways. I'm thankful that the year didn't end the way it started. I literally started this year with no goals. I kid you not. I was in a hurried place with work and life and my life seemed like it was just going round and round. I went through a phase this year that I now understand was a type of shaking- no goals, the goals I felt I had, my vision, seemed shattered. I went through a time of soul and self searching and realized that I was not actually who I had always thought I was. It felt like I was brought to a place where I had to question everything and I began to re-discover myself and the more I looked, whatever "vision" I thought I had had- business vision, everything, everything.... just seemed like nothingness and the ONLY vision I had was to walk with God. I cannot explain how this time felt to me, I felt a bit lost but because the object of my "new vision" was God and to know Him, to know His ways, I knew God orchestrated the shaking. I'm just so grateful for the privilege to commune with God, to pray, to just love on the one who so generously loves. I just love God so much and I'm sooooo grateful, so so grateful.... 

I hope you find this helpful, Fam. Some of these posts I'll be making with the hope that anyone who is at that confused place of lack of clarity, especially one who has substance abuse issues, will receive the clarity they need to start again, to identify the gaps in their thinking, to see the things they have not been doing and actually begin to action them and my prayer is that as you start, you will begin to see tremendous progress in your life in Jesus name. Amen.

Have a lovely week and sending you lots of love and light,


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